New Midland H.Q. Planned for BBC

2013-07-03 10.32.26













Birmingham Mail news cutting from Monday, May 14th, 1962, about the building of BBC Pebble Mill.

Here is the copy of the article:

New Midland H.Q. Planned For BBC

Will be world’s first TV-radio centre

“Mail” TV Correspondent

The world’s first combined radio and television centre is to be built in Birmingham.

Mr H. J. Dunkerley, BBC Midland Region Controller, announced today that work is to start within a year on the erection of the new Broadcasting House for Midland Region. It will be on the nine-acre site at Pebblemill Road, Edgbaston.

Plans have been prepared by Mr J. Madin the Birmingham architect, and when it is brought into operation in 1965 it will replace the existing administrative and studio centres at Carpenter Road, Edgbaston, Broad Street and Gosta Green.

Final details of the structure are still being considered by the architect and BBC officials.

“There is no comparable project anywhere in the world as far as we have been able to discover,” said Mr Dunkerley, “for in every other area sound and TV have developed separately.”

3,000 episodes

In November the BBC is to hold a three-day exhibition at Birmingham Town Hall to celebrate the Corporation’s 40th anniversary. The first transmission in the Midlands was on November 15, 1922.

On July 27, “The Archers,” radio’s longest running serial, will reach its 3,000th episode.

Mr Dunkerley said that although there had been some fall in the size of its mid-week audience, it now appealed to an audience averaging 10,000,000 when the omnibus edition goes out on Sunday mornings.

Unique Sound & TV Base for B’ham 1962

Wolverhampton Express and Star May 14 1962






















Copyright resides with the original holder no reproduction without permission.

This cutting is from the Wolverhampton Express and Star, May 14th 1962.

The article heralds the arrival of BBC Pebble Mill, ‘the only comprehensive broadcasting centre for television and sound that is being designed anywhere in the world’.

The building, designed by John Madin, is planned to open in 1965! In fact, Pebble Mill did not open until 1971!

New programmes are also revealed in the article, including a 20 minute local news programme to go out week nights at 6pm, as well as a six part drama-doc about smuggling, entitled The NetThe Archers was coming up for its 3,000th episode – and it is still going strong now!

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook group:

Pete Simpkin: ‘Fascinating cutting! Incidentally at the end of the article there is mention of the 40th anniversary of the BBC in B’ham. For the 60th in 1982 Barry Lankester presented a detailed four part history of the BBC in the Midlands with many clips some of which had not been heard for thirty or forty years.’

Stuart Gandy: ‘Interesting too how it talks about the value of bringing departments together under one roof. The exact opposite of what happened when we moved to Mailbox.’